Call me a Johnny-come-lately, but I just discovered Backspace in that roundabout manner that I seem to find all the helpful sites (Miss Snark to Pub Rants to Nelson Agency to article by Kristin Nelson posted on Backspace) and hit paydirt. Now I just have to find the time to mine this new motherload of information (between doing a mother-load of laundry and carrying a mother-load of Punkin)…
Wow! A Romancing the Blog article I totally agree with (surprise, surprise). Actually, Sandy Oakes does an excellent job of pinpointing one of the greatest turn-offs in romances–when the hero and the heroine don’t match up. She says:
To me, the heroine must have her own strength. She must be a woman who does not need a man to complete her, but wants a man to be her compliment. Her strength should be his weakness; his strength should be her weakness. It is the yin and yang that should be the force that pushes forth the relationship.
That is a quote that all writers, especially romance writers, should post right next to their computers and ponder it while creating their heroes and heroines.
The one thing I would add is that the sweet young innocent of historical novels should still bring her own strengths to the relationship. Perhaps she teaches the cynical hero that the world is not all evil, that there is life and light and joy to be found. Or maybe her trusting nature helps him overcome a past failure. And so on. But she can by no means be a limp, lifeless, unchanging limpet of a human. (Okay, the one way that I’ll allow that in a heroine is if by the end of the novel she has changed, strengthened, become her own person and a worthy partner , not prize, for the hero.)
My DH got me a new toy/tool for our anniversary (02/02/02, at 2 pm)–a tablet PC. Bonnie got me interested in trying Microsoft OneNote, and that program works best on a Tablet. Now, the DH is a MightyBargainHunter. He likes to visit yard sales, pawnshops, and thrift stores in search of the wild bargain. So last Saturday, whilst I waited at the vet with our elder puppy (Colonel John Singleton Mosby Valley Wedding, Mosby for short), he visited a den of despair (that would be a pawnshop–I don’t like them much) and spied a sweet little Toshiba Portege. I’ve wanted a laptop for a long time, to make writing on the go easier, so this little bit of serendipity was just too doggone awesome (well, the dog wasn’t actually gone. He waited fairly patiently in the car while we examined the computer).
It’s the niftiest little thing. And the best part is the handwriting recognition program. Well, it would be the best part, if I could get it to work. I downloaded a trial version of Office 2003, which supposedly is fully functional. Mine ain’t . I can get the handwriting thingy to work in OneNote, and in the Journal, and I can use the revision pen in Word, but I can’t get the handwriting to text function to work in Word or any of the other Office programs. I uninstalled and reinstalled the bugger, followed every instruction I could find on activating the program, even joined a Microsoft forum to ask how the heck I can get this feature to work. To no avail. Sigh.
But other than that, I’m having a blast. The speech recognition program seems to work ok, and I’m used to using that–I’ve had ViaVoice for a few years now. We’re going on a road trip next week to Newport, RI, and I’m looking forward to writing in the car! Heck, if I can get over the embarassment of dictating the story, I could just sit back and let the computer do all the hard work.
Actually, this road trip itself is a neat bit of answered prayer. I needed my new novel to be based in a port town in New England, one that was really booming during the late 18th-early 19th centuries. I was thinking Salem, but I’ve never been to the area (and I’ve never been to Boston in the Fawwwlll. Sorry, VeggieTale moment). Then my hubby informs me he needs to go on travel to Newport, RI. All my gears started turning–Newport wasn’t that far from Salem. Hmmmm. So, the Punkin and I decided to tag along, and while the hubby works, we’d do research. I started tonight looking up a bunch of basic info online, and discovered to my delight that Newport will work just as well if not better than Salem. So I don’t have to drive the extra 3 hours through the Boston metro area to visit Salem. I can walk a few blocks down the street to get the feel of Newport. Ain’t that grand?
Well, I’m going to go set up the voice program on Teggie now. Ta ta!